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tallship 03-15-2011 06:16 PM

The votes are in: New Slack, New Tagline...
 
Okay, so there were only two comments on it, but as usual, when a New Slack rolls out I usually change my tagline, and the new one below was fav'd by two regular Slackers over the other one I pondered by Tim Paterson.

Actually, I even considered Robby's now famous quote, (flying farther with tools, for those who don't know), but that's too close to home and I use that when in general conversation with others.

I'm going to miss my last tagline though, as it gleaned so much into what was (and still is) wrong with Microsoft networks, and the fact that when Jim Allchin left Banyan and got onboard with Microsoft he had them tear down the whole worthless house of cards they had built and then he proceeded to rebuild it from scratch.

Sadly, he wasn't able to initially integrate some form of his directory services into those early LanMan offerings.

Anyway, I hope that my new tagline serves to provide both a sense of amusement and relevance (perhaps even some enlightenment), to those who bother to read those little quotes and pundits that many of us put in our sigs.

All the best and keep slackin' :)

Kindest regards,

.

onebuck 03-15-2011 08:00 PM

Hi,

That tag from Kildall was from way back.
Excerpts from History of Technology;
Quote:

1975: Gary Kildall, who was working for Intel as a consultant finished development of the first CP/M operating system, version 1.0.
Why not show the newbies the reason for that quote;
Quote:

There are many stories as to the next famous (or infamous) step in history. It is generally believed that in 1981, IBM visited the home of Gary Kildall in hopes of purchasing CP/M from him to become the standard operating system for this new "microcomputer" which will use the new 8088 processing chip from Intel. The story unfolds as such: Kildall is not at home that day, and his wife and business partners refuse to sign anything that IBM presents in the way of a contract, or agreement in the development of this project. IBM, being bigger than any "one individual" flies to Seattle Washington, and they approach another young team in Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who quickly agree to produce a workable operating system for the IBM personal computer.
From here the story gets a little cloudy. Those who support the Gates and Allen team would say that Bill had told IBM to go to Gary Kildall first, and that Kidall was not available, or was difficult when asked to sign a contract. Microsoft says they then purchased QDOS from Tim Patterson and Seattle Computer Products for $50,000. From there they de-compiled it, de-bugged it, and re-wrote it to their own code for the IBM machines, and delivered it to IBM.
The Kildall camp would say that Gates and Allen had obtained the CP/M system, and without consent simply changed a few lines of code, and slapped the name "DOS" on it before handing it over to IBM. At this point it should be noted that there are a great many references to the OS being called QDOS (which stood for Quick and Dirty Operating System) When asked, Kildall once responded "ask Bill why the string in function 9 is terminated with a dollar sign. Ask him, because he can't answer, only I know that".

tallship 03-15-2011 08:47 PM

Yes that's the gist of it... ;)
 
Thanks Gary,

And yes, that's the gist of it, although my accounts are *slightly* different.

As the story goes, Gates did indeed refer (can't remember his name w/o checking my notes, I've been working on a book which this is part of, and I release tidbits in my web journals) the IBM rep to Kildall, since they had already cemented in the deal for ROM BASIC w/mACROsFOT.

When they arrived at DRI's offices here in California, however, Dorothy was rather freaked out that Big Blue had walked in and wanted her to sign an NDA prior to any discussion at all - even regarding what was to be discussed.

There's a bit a Peyton Place that followed, but essentially, IBM wanted to pay a one-time flat fee to license the use of CP/M on the IBM 5150 - which didn't fly w/Kildall, who wanted a piece of the action for every PC sold, and/or too much of a slice of the pie.

The irony is that, although most people believe that mACROsFOT took the deal as it was presented to Kildall, the truth is that there was a royalty paid to Microsoft for each copy distributed with the PC, which is to this day, still a heavily guarded secret as to the amount.

Where it gets fuzzy is that at one point, the IBM rep and Kildall were on the same (commercial) plane (Not Kildall's) and reached a gentleman's agreement on the licenses for CP/M, a deal which went awry anyway - although I haven't been able (Yet) to substantiate that part of the story with credible references.

Kildall never went after Paterson, Roth, or SCP - or even Microsoft. He always believed that the code would speak for itself, although he did threaten IBM with a copyright suit, who in turn agreed to offer CP/M w/the 5150 (for considerably more than IBM PC-DOS).

He missed the boat on that one.

And the beauty of it all, is that the n00bs who don't stumble across this thread will have to google it anyway LOL!

I hope they do - it's a fascinating, and relevant story

cwizardone 03-15-2011 09:06 PM

Tailship,
Yes, that is pretty much how I heard the story. If you want to hear it from the "horse's mouth," so to speak, see if you can find a copy of the PBS Special, "Triumphs of the Nerds." It covers the PC from the Altair (sp) up to the release of windoze 95. I keep hoping the author, Bob Cringely, will do a sequel and bring it up to date, but nothing so far...
I've heard a rumor that the DVD version was edited in favor of mickeysoft, I hope that isn't true. I have it on tape as it appeared on television. It is still available for viewing in several parts on YouTube.

I was just doing a Google search for "Triumphs of the Nerds" and stumbled across a old thread
and a message I wrote on this subject. I'm the guy called, "Samsonite."

Samsonite Dec 22 2009, 09:27 PM
Post #16
Elite Poster
Group: Participant
Posts: 3060
Joined: 9-November 04
Member No.: 5997


QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
Not the way I remember it, and I was in the mini-computer business at the time.
Unquote.

It was all fairly well documented in a PBS Specal called "The Triumphs of the Nerds." If you can't find a copy you can rent it from Netflix. The story was also ran with interviews, as was done in "The Triumphs of the Nerds," with people who were actually involved, on a PBS show by the name of, 'Computer Chronicles."

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
...IBM made a fatal and flawed decision. Rather than developing its own chip and writing software for it, like they had been doing for the last 40 years, they decided to outsource it....unquote.

Not quite. The head of IBM knew that because of their huge bureaucracy it would takes years to get anything done and commissioned a hand full of his employees to "do it on their own" almost as if it were a "secret project." IBM built their own PCs, but they did it with off the shelf parts.

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
...They then made a trip from Florida where IBM was headquartering, to talk to Digital Research about licensing their CPM operating system for the new machine that they were developing. They also planned to go to Seattle to do the same from Microsoft for a Basic complier....unquote.

IBM is and was headquartered in Armonk, New York. The PC project once it was given the green light, was headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.
IBM, thinking microsoft did operating systems, made the first trip to Seattle. I'll give gates this, he told IBM they did not have an operating system and sent IBM to Digital Research who was headquartered in Monterey, California. Pacific Grove, California, actually.

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
....then they visited Digital Research, they gave the forms to Kendall and his bitch, which promptly refused to even discuss signing such an agreement! The IBM people had no choice but to shake there heads and leave, to there next stop in Seattle....unquote

Gary Kildal was not there when the meeting first started, but by the time he arrived his wife and the company attorney had already refused to sign the disclosure form.
IBM went back to microsoft and gates, not one to miss an opportunity told IBM they would get an operating system.

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
...a small Company called Seattle Computer had developed a crude version based around Digital Research’s CPM system. Unkown to IBM, Microsoft purchased it for $50,000 and supplied IBM with it....unquote

It was called Quick and Dirty Dos and was written by Tim Paterson, an employee of Seattle Computer who admitted on screen he used Digital Research's CP/M documentation as his guide line. The narrator, actually the guy who wrote "The Triumphs of the Nerds," put two monitors side by side and shows you that other than changing the prompt and the name, there were no differences between what became known as ms-dos and CP/M.

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
As the last act of stupidity, when IBM was ready to sell the first PC, Kendall relented and also supplied a DOS operating system, but decided that his OS was far better and they charged double what Microsoft charged - $40 rather then $20 per computer....unquote

When IBM sold the first PCs, they gave the buyer the option of either ms-dos or Digital Research's CP/M. ms-dos was priced at $40.00. CP/M was priced at... around $240.00. Digital Research had nothing to do with that pricing policy and it came as a complete surprise to them. As a result of such a wide difference in the price, well, as they say, the rest is history.

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
Talk about being at he right place at the right time – I consider Bill Gates to be the richest accidental Billionaire in the world.unquote

He has admitted that. It was during a, IIRC a "60 Minutes" interview. The softball question was to inferred that if gates hadn't made his fortune in software he would have done it some other way. His response was a flat, no. He basically said he was in the right place at the right time or it never would have happened.

This post has been edited by Samsonite: Dec 24 2009, 03:29 AM

tallship 03-15-2011 10:57 PM

Good stuff!

Lemme comment on just a couple of items there that are mis-nomers (which I got from the horse's mouth ;) )....

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwizardone (Post 4292068)

QUOTE (MrMango @ Dec 23 2009, 03:07 AM)
...a small Company called Seattle Computer had developed a crude version based around Digital Research’s CPM system. Unkown to IBM, Microsoft purchased it for $50,000 and supplied IBM with it....unquote

That part there isn't completely accurate. first, I'll need to check my notes to see if it was 50, or 40K, but basically, Gates had already gotten a "Non-Exclusive" license from Roth, since an OS was needed anyway by Microsoft, and they were in the BASIC Interpreter business.

Other Mfgrs, needed an OS or BASIC was worthless (ROM BASIC, as delivered w/the PC 'could' suffice as a primitive OS, however).

Let's say it was $50K (Prolly was): Gates had already paid that amount for a non-exclusive license to distribute, but talked Roth into the whole kitten cabootle for yet another 50K once Big Blue came back to him following the debacle w/Kildall.

The terms of this particular license allowed Roth's company, SCP, to continue to use and sell DOS as their own, just as they had been doing with SCP's S-100 8086 (OH, there's a story there too - MS for years had one of those at their shop until the 386 came out because there's no such thing as a 640K barrier - SCP's DOS saw a full Meg of RAM (won't go into how/why here), and MS had to use that machine to compile their own dang operating system with SCP's DOS - so all of the DOS versions through the AT/286 class boxes had an OS compiled on SCP's QDOS running on an 8086).

After all, SCP was in the hardware biz...

After the rworkman hit the fan (Hi Robby, just a friendly reference to your now famous, 'parts flying further' quote ;) ), Roth had a couple of great years of sales and then spiralled towards bankruptcy, so he tried to sell DOS again (um... Compaq I believe, was one of the main bidders) - But billyborg sicked his lawyers on him stating that the terms of the license he had left Roth with forbade him from transfering the rights/ownership of DOS to anyone else, and subesquently paid him off to go away too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwizardone (Post 4292068)

It was called Quick and Dirty Dos and was written by Tim Paterson, an employee of Seattle Computer who admitted on screen he used Digital Research's CP/M documentation as his guide line. The narrator, actually the guy who wrote "The Triumphs of the Nerds," put two monitors side by side and shows you that other than changing the prompt and the name, there were no differences between what became known as ms-dos and CP/M.

Okay I need to clarify this, because it is VERY important.

Yes, what is stated above is accurate, however, very very misleading.

QDOS is NOT CP/M, it looked different until Gates had borrowed Paterson from SCP and had him sit down w/IBM, who... Ah, I'll just quote paterson again here LOL:

"IBM wanted CP/M prompts. I threw up"

Okay that's not what needs to be clarified though.

Paterson insists he never saw any DRI code, and like you show above, went through the manual page by page, as a reference (for himself, there was no Microsoft initially in the loop and Paterson was frustrated that DRI hadn't released CP/M-86 for well over a year after the 8086 was released, so he HAD to write his own OS or his bosses company couldn't sell any machines - CP/M was an 8bit OS to be used with, for example, z80 CPUs).

Paterson was faced with some other dilemma's too, the migration from 8" to 5.25" floppy drives for one. The MS-DOS and the original FAT file system we all know is purely Paterson's creation. He took the best parts of what Kildall was doing with CP/M, as well as Northstar (Have you ever wondered where the name NorthTech came from? There may yet be some trace history if you google NorthTech Services, Inc. of Ohio, but prolly not), who had the Horizon, and last but not least, the UCSD P-System.

There are other MAJOR differences between MS-DOS and CP/M, but that one is the most significant IMO.

Paterson's quote above will serve to, at least to some degree, vindicate him from charges of being a plagiarist - he in fact, merely cloned CP/M.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwizardone (Post 4292068)
When IBM sold the first PCs, they gave the buyer the option of either ms-dos or Digital Research's CP/M. ms-dos was priced at $40.00. CP/M was priced at... around $240.00. Digital Research had nothing to do with that pricing policy and it came as a complete surprise to them. As a result of such a wide difference in the price, well, as they say, the rest is history.

You are in fact absolutely correct on that one. I always forget whether it was $140.00 or $240.00 LOL! I don't know where that mango guy got his info.

But it wasn't just the money. When the IBM PC came out (and this is my common knowledge, having bought a 5150 and a 5161 w/a CGA card and CP/M), we need to put things in the proper context of the time....

Nobody knew (or cared) who Microsoft was - they were nobodies. The big household names were Sears and Roebuck, and IBM. As far as I know, "Sears Business Systems Center" stores were the ONLY place you could buy an IBM PC when they first came out (That's where I bought mine before I discovered how to resell on the grey [meaning, no warranty but for much less money than Sears charged] market).

Okay that's insignificant fluff, but what I wanted to point out, was that when you bought an IBM PC, if it was your first one, some idiot salesperson who worked at Sears would steer you towards DOS (again, you could just use ROM BASIC).

DOS, came in a little IBM logo'd binder all nicely shrink wrapped - the same logo on the box of PC, if you will :)

CP/M, came shrink wrapped with DRI's logo ;)

If you were a n00b, of course you would go with the trusted IBM labeled product ;)

So it wasn't *just* the $200 difference between the two, although I want to thank you for pointing out that it actually wasn't DRI's doing, wrt the price of their software in the offering bundles.

Finally, I'd like to go back and address Gary's post at the top. the very beginning of it.

Kildall actually was teaching at a military college and moonlighting as a contract programmer for Intel. They had no assembler for their latest processor at the time - the 4004, so he was contracted to do make one.

As part of the logical process, and just as Ken Thompson did, but this time w/o a Dennis Ritchie, Kildall produced the beginnings of CP/M out of PL/M (a stripped down PL/I he also created), but intel wasn't interested in the OS - so DRI was born (called something else at first, can't remember).

That put him in the OS business.

Okay I'm gonna go find and get me a copy of that PBS show now :)

Thanks for cross-posting that old thread from whereever, and, uh... I hope you set that mango guy straight. He had it mostly all wrong LOL!

Apologies for not editing/revising the messed up grammer and structure of my post, I had to get it out and it just flew off my fingers, coz you guys got me all excited.

Kindest regards,

harryhaller 03-16-2011 03:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tallship (Post 4292134)
Good stuff!
Nobody knew (or cared) who Microsoft was - they were nobodies. The big household names were Sears and Roebuck, and IBM. As far as I know, "Sears Business Systems Center" stores were the ONLY place you could buy an IBM PC when they first came out (That's where I bought mine before I discovered how to resell on the grey [meaning, no warranty but for much less money than Sears charged] market).

Okay that's insignificant fluff, but what I wanted to point out, was that when you bought an IBM PC, if it was your first one, some idiot salesperson who worked at Sears would steer you towards DOS (again, you could just use ROM BASIC).

You mustn't forget the corporate world. For IBM customers, the PC's cost peanuts - they would buy them in double figures, just to try them out. The rule in that world was, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM". So if IBM was pointing towards MS, you bought MS.

This has also to do with the IBM maintenance contracts, which most IBM customers had. If IBM recommended MS, which by the time of the XT it did, then I had to go with it, even though I was interested in DR.

If anything went down, then I and DR would be the piggies in the middle of the blame game. No way! You bought MS to be safe so that you could blame IBM if anything went bad.

Corporate politics.

onebuck 03-16-2011 08:29 AM

Hi,

I do remember a PBS program and at the time thought it was polished politically towards Microsoft.

I built a S100 system and used CP/M. When IBM released IBM-DOS(MS-DOS is different) along with documentation and OS support docs to reveal the inards. Don't forget that one could get either IBM/DOS or MS-DOS so MS finally released docs because IBM had. It did not take long for anyone to know that indeed CP/M was the basis. Q/DOS was a rip off. Just enough differences to make it legal but still a rip off.

Sure CP/M was not original but a derivative but at least Kildall made it known. Nice piece of coding(DR-DOS) but poor management decision on DR's part for not pursuing legal actions because of IBM's deep pockets. Then add in power from Microsoft and DR would be the weakling because of resource. Microsoft has redefined ethics to mean it as their corporation sees it.

Politically at the time of the PC, we had to go with IBM. CP/M was better but forced to use DOS because of related industries forced alignment with the weaker DOS. Late 70's and early 80's were times that taught a lot of us to use systems that were independent and did not need to be tied to the mainframes. Along came the PC and we could develop instrumentation based on interfacing with a single board system or personal computer that could be left to sample, save and even polish our data from experiments. That same data could then be analyzed and modeled using the mainframe/super-computer. Our budgets would not allow or afford us the use on mini's or independent equipment so we improvised using PC's to fill the need. Not turnkey but it did provide a exciting development environment and polished everyone's skill set.

Personally from my point of view there is so much FUD that surrounds CP/M and DOS that only Kildall & Gates know the real truth. Gates will let the FUD stand as it is since it seems to support Microsoft via tunnel vision because of the end result(s). From my perspective, CP/M is superior to DOS. DR-DOS surpassed IBM/MS-DOS capabilities. If it wasn't for IBM's opening the arch and support documentation we would not have known that indeed Patterson's model was CP/M. Even though he did state the use of CP/M documentation/manual. Release actions by IBM is what fractured relations with Microsoft. But if IBM had held to the vest then who knows where the PC would be today.

Very interesting topic but does bring back some good along with bad memories that will in no doubt leave some asking for more.

What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also. - Julius Caesar

harryhaller 03-16-2011 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onebuck (Post 4292551)
Hi,


Nice piece of coding(DR-DOS) but poor management decision on DR's part for not pursuing legal actions because of IBM's deep pockets. Then add in power from Microsoft and DR would be the weakling because of resource. Microsoft has redefined ethics to mean it as their corporation sees it.

Caldera, which acquired DR via Novell, got some compensation.

Quote:


In 1991, Gary Kildall and the other shareholders of Digital Research Inc., which Gary & Dorothy Kildall had founded in 1975, sold the closely-held private shares of Digital Research Inc. (DRI) to Novell, Inc., and then on July 23, 1996 all of the Digital Research, Inc. assets were acquired from Novell Inc. by Caldera Inc., a company founded by Bryan Sparks with the assistance of Ray Noorda, former Chairman/CEO of Novell Inc., and on July 24, 1996, Caldera Inc. filed a private Federal Antitrust Lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. for alleged illegal activities and unfair practices in the marketing of MS-DOS and its successors, including Windows 95 and Windows 98, both of which are still Digital Research CP/M at their essential core. The lawsuit was settled out of court in January 2000 at which time Microsoft Corporation agreed to certain terms and paid certain funds to Caldera Inc.

http://www.digitalresearch.biz/CPM.HTM

onebuck 03-16-2011 10:32 AM

Hi,

Yes, I seem to remember the Caldera deal. Still DR did not have the resources to challenge the big boys. Kildall got out what he could.

Microsoft was not about to admit publicly what had been done.

I still feel that Gary Kildall got screwed royally because of out right theft of intellectual property rights. So an intermediate can perform the un-ethical action and pass it legally? NO! I guess, as long as you have deep pockets and have a few politicians in that same pocket to help spread the wealth to cover things up then it's OK. NO! Not in my book.

I've never met a lawyer that I liked. Scruples and ethics? Add in the bean counter and you have a foul tasting soup. My experiences with people of this type have been sour. I guess PC(Political Correctness) is not one of my traits and never will be.

rworkman 03-16-2011 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tallship (Post 4291958)
Actually, I even considered Robby's now famous quote, (flying farther with tools, for those who don't know), but that's too close to home and I use that when in general conversation with others..

Remind me of that one again... :/

tallship 03-16-2011 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rworkman (Post 4292668)
Remind me of that one again... :/

k. I'm hoping you meant that coz I had to look up the emoticon ":/" and there was no intent to offend.

Well here goes, hope I don't get yellow carded for potty mouth though:

Quote:

Originally Posted by rworkman (Post 3546495)
Ultimately, shit will happen. It also happens to fly farther when using tools.

From HERE when I was trying to figure out if Slackroll is any good or not for blowing up my system. I couldn't see that it wasn't based on banter in the forums and some less than complimentary bashing of a distrowatch article that was completely changed, so I just decided to stay w/slackpkg instead.

rworkman 03-16-2011 07:37 PM

Ah yes, I recall that now - thanks! :-)


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